**The ideas contained in this post are the opinions of the writer and communicated without reference to supporting documentation. The writer also recognizes that BPD is a disorder that affects both males and females, and uses of “she” or “he” in the communication of ideas are not intended to covey sexual bias.
In many health-related issues, the problems in functioning can often be traced to some form of “blockage” rather than “flow” happening in the human system. For instance, in heart-attack and stroke issues, there may be a build-up of fatty deposits in blood vessels supplying blood to the brain and heart, therefore resulting in a clot (blockage). All sorts of other pain and disability in other parts of the body can likewise occur if there are vascular (blood flow) issues. The necessity for the continuous “flow” of oxygen in a human body to function well is another easily embraced truth. Blood and oxygen need to continue FLOWING in a human body in order for things to work properly. Agreed?
Another example of FLOW in nature is the movement of water in the earth and the potential consequences of the water not flowing as it needs to. When the rains fall, the water either seeps into the ground or becomes runoff, which then flows downhill into rivers and lakes, and then eventually into the oceans (Water Science School). If the water doesn’t consistently flow as nature intended, then the land (plus the animals and the humans who inhabit the land) cannot flourish. Further yet, the water creatures and marine ecosystems cannot flourish without the necessary flow of water. Blockage to the flow of water has the potential to result in hurtful and damaging consequences to life.
An interesting, but perhaps less known and less appreciated aspect of mental health, is that human emotion is a type of energy that “flows” within the body, or at least needs to flow in order for a human (especially a sensitive human) to consistently function well. When emotions do not flow well in a human body, then there is a good chance that certain types of problems will be experienced (e.g., depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, and relational issues). For instance, a build-up of sadness feeling, or worthlessness feeling, or guilt or shame feeling may eventually result in a type of “clot” or “blockage” in a human body and result in things like low moods, low physical energy, irritability, and frequent misunderstanding of things seen and heard.
In cases of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), the flow of emotional energy is very often not happening in a way that the suffering person can function well, both internally and with others. The emotional flow in BPD is more likely getting repeatedly blocked in some fashion, and this creates points of pressure in the body that are very difficult to tolerate, and will usually result in some sort of reactivity (physical and/or verbal) that doesn’t help life “flow smoothly.” These are the types of human reactions (e.g., yelling, breaking things, hurting self, hurting others) that misinformed and uneducated people tend to insist are just problems in “attitude” or “choice”, rather than possibly being a body/brain/emotion issue that is not yet well understood or being effectively managed.
So if “emotional flow” is important for making improvements to conditions like Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), then it would likewise be important to know how to effectively make it happen, right? Creating an effective emotional flow doesn’t actually need to be over-complicated. To put it simply, establishing good emotional flow requires practicing mindful awareness of self (of thoughts and emotions, for instance) and practicing empathy both within (with self) and without (with others). Each of these areas… mindful awareness and empathy do in fact require some extra learning and development to become useful, but you can get started with this using the 9-Steps at BreakAway MHE!
When “emotional flow” gets blocked, it is often due to a lack of mindful awareness and empathy, and not just individually, but also between people who attempt to be in relationships with each other. In modern culture, it is not at all uncommon for people to NOT include things like mindful awareness and empathy in their day-to-day lives and interactions. It is unfortunately more common for people to instead be rushed and inpatient, and therefore to do the exact opposite of mindful awareness and empathy – meaning to be emotionally insensitive or dismissive, and to be largely (even completely) negligent about noticing and being curious about emotions. The result of being insensitive, dismissive, and negligent can be emotional blockage and all the related suffering of emotional blockage, if not immediately, then good chance eventually.
The importance of experiencing “emotional flow” will almost always be more relevant to people who are naturally more sensitive, and therefore more prone to developing mental health problems. To be sensitive and experience a good emotional flow in your relationships can mean the difference between remaining stable and increasing the odds of becoming very mentally unwell. I believe this is especially possible for people who have ever met criteria for BPD, although not guaranteed – a sensitive person can actually become extremely resilient, even in harsh conditions.
For less emotionally sensitive people who are less prone to developing mental health problems, it may be difficult to understand why things like emotional flow are important. However, keep in mind that it isn’t at all uncommon for more sensitive people to get into relationships (or end up connected through family) with less sensitive people, and therefore for all individuals involved to need an ability for creating and maintaining good emotional flow to keep relationships healthy.